Scottish Government Overturn ‘Draconian’ Covid-19 Measures Forced Upon Bookies
On the 29th June, Scottish bookmakers were able to open their doors once again after three months lockdown due to Coronavirus.
However, Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon had imposed strict rules for bookies reopening which were deemed as ‘Draconian Measures’ by Michael Dugher, chairman of the betting and gaming council (BGC).
Detrimental Affect On Business
In the UK, less restrictive measures allowed bookies on the high street to reopen with some kind of reassurance their businesses would return back to normal. However, Scotland’s restrictions were far more severe with chairs being removed, TV screens turned off to prevent punters watching live racing and FOBT’s also switched off.
Michael Dugher urged Nicola Sturgeon to rethink such strict ruling and to look at what a bookies really is. All the aforementioned restrictions are the heart of a bookies business and by introducing such strict measures would have a detrimental affect on businesses in Scotland with fears some may close with hundreds of job losses.
Since the reopening of bookies figures show a 95% reduction in turnover from Scottish Bookies, largely due to no live racing and FOBTs’.
Change Of Heart
It seems the Scottish first minister had a rethink after Mr Dugher voiced his opinions, and strict measures are now to be eased and bookies can get back to some kind of normality once again.
Mr Dugher said, “ This is great news for Scotland’s 900 betting shops and the 4,500 hard-working staff that they employ.
“ We are delighted that the Scottish Government has listened and responded.”
The statement was more than likely a nod to the UK government, as of yet, land based Casinos are still unable to reopen, despite providing evidence on more than one occasion they are safe and ready to open their doors.